Jan 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House ethics panel investigates Rep. Marie Newman for alleged bribery

Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) said Monday there is "substantial reason to believe" that Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) offered a job to a potential primary opponent to keep him from running in 2020.

Driving the news: Newman is alleged to have "promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support" and if proved, she may have federal law and House rules. Newman strongly denies the allegations.

The big picture In October, the OCE overwhelmingly voted to recommend that the House Committee on Ethics further review the allegation.

  • The accusation stems from a legal dispute involving an employment contract between Newman and Iymen Chehade, her former foreign policy adviser, according to the OCE.
  • The office cited an email from Oct. 20, 2018, which included a proposal that said that Chehade would agree "not to announce or submit his candidacy for election," and in exchange, Newman would hire him as a foreign policy adviser.

The other side: Newman's legal counsel contended that the OCE's probe was "spurred by the charges of an adverse third party, and prodded by an ideologically hostile group."

  • Her legal counsel also said that the official contract signed by Newman and Chehade "contained language that eliminated the possibility of any exchange of employment for political support."
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